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Best Demo Automation Software in 2024

Demo Automation

Streamline Your Go-to-Market Process in 2024 with Demo Automation

There are two parallel trends happening in B2B sales: Go-to-market teams are constantly looking for ways to more efficiently drive growth, while modern buyers prefer a self-driven, “choose your own adventure” path for evaluating technologies. Demo automation solutions present a win/win for both stakeholders: They unlock go-to-market efficiencies by streamlining vendors’ ability to produce demos at scale, and they allow prospects to self-serve and self-qualify. And this self qualification improves vendor efficiencies even further by allowing their valuable sales and marketing resources to focus their energy on sourcing opportunities that are most likely to convert.

Sound too good to be true? Let’s find out. In this post, we’ll define what we mean by “demo automation,” unpack its importance specifically for enterprise companies, and introduce the best demo automation technologies available today.

What is Demo Automation?

Demo automation is exactly what it sounds like – a path to automating the creation of demos. What has traditionally been a manual, custom effort requiring significant presales or sales engineering (SE) resources, delivering demos to prospects can now happen with high quality, consistency, and at scale. More specifically, demo automation software allows you to pre-record guided demos, and build and deliver customizable, shareable demos across the organization.

Demo automation software frees up your team’s time while ensuring every prospect receives a compelling, engaging, and personalized yet consistent product experience, whenever they want it.

Why is Demo Automation Important for SaaS Companies?

Modern enterprise software buyers demand direct, hands-on access to the products they’re evaluating early in the buyers’ journey. They want to explore products on their own before getting on a call with a human, and they want to get their hands dirty in the early phases of product evaluation.

But for complex software products and enterprise buyers, it’s not always possible to offer a “freemium” version of the product. Demo automation software bridges this gap – it makes complex products accessible to prospects who want to explore on their own, and allows vendors to offer a self-service product experience at scale – without sacrificing security, control, or consistent messaging.

SaaS companies that embrace demo automation software as a part of their core go-to-market motion are seeing major benefits:

  • Increased Efficiency: Imagine scaling your product demo delivery without adding headcount and without the headaches associated with managing dedicated demo environments. Demo automation lets you streamline the process of building and delivering demos, allowing your team to focus on high-value activities like building relationships and closing deals. Data platform provider Cloudera reduced acquisition costs by 75% after introducing a demo automation solution that alleviated the need to have many demo environments running in order to demonstrate their complex products.
  • Personalized Experiences: Tailored demos resonate better with prospects. With branching logic and other customizations, you can showcase specific features relevant to each individual’s needs and pain points. Helping prospects see how the product maps to their specific situation leads to higher engagement and conversion rates. For example, HR software provider Hireology has seen sales cycles accelerate by 50% with the use of an automated demo solution that they’ve used to build product tours and sales leave-behinds.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Demo automation platforms capture information to track how prospects interact with your demos – where they click, in what order, and how long they linger at key moments – and can integrate with CRMs for deeper understanding throughout the funnel. Gaining early insights into their needs and interests allows you to tailor future conversations and messaging to be highly resonant, and can also help you continually refine your demo strategy based on trends seen across all prospect interactions.

For a deeper dive into the benefits and implementation strategies of demo automation, check out our comprehensive guide.

The Best Demo Automation Software in 2024

Demo automation solutions generally fall into one of four categories, outlined below:

  • Video-based demo automation solutions
  • Interactive product tours
  • Live application overlays
  • Self-contained demo environments

Organizations should determine which use case they’re looking to solve for, and evaluate the best product offerings in that category.

The exception to this rule is Reprise, the only demo automation software provider offering an integrated platform to solve use cases across the end-to-end customer journey. Reprise is the best option for enterprise go-to-market teams that want a streamlined and fully customizable demo creation platform supporting product tours, live sales demos, sales leave-behinds, and demo environments with a cohesive experience. Reprise stands out for its comprehensive product capabilities, intuitive interface, robust features, and focus on data-driven insights. It offers a complete suite of tools for creating interactive demos, personalizing presentations, and analyzing engagement metrics.

Video-based demo automation solutions

Video-based solutions take your basic screen recording up a notch with interactive features like searchability and easy navigation to key capabilities or moments. While video-based solutions are a lightweight way to show your product, they don’t allow users to interact with your product at all.

An example of a video-based demo automation solution is Consensus.

Consensus focuses on creating personalized video demo journeys. It uses questionnaires to pre-qualify leads and then delivers tailored video demos based on their responses.

Interactive product tours

Product tour solutions leverage screen captures, enabled via browser extensions, to guide prospects through software products and make them customizable.

Three solutions for software companies looking specifically for product tours are Navattic, Storylane,  and Walnut.

Navattic offers screen capture technology optimized for SMBs.There are some lightweight editing functionality and customization options to create tailored presentations.

Storylane allows users to build demos based on screen captures. These guided product tours mimic an application’s look and feel, vs. cloning an application’s functionality.

Walnut specializes in creating click-through software demos using screen capture technology. It offers lightweight editing tools for quick, simple product tours.

Live application overlays

Live application capture solutions sit on top of your demo environment and allow on-the-fly customizations during live demos.

Two live demo solution vendors are Saleo and TestBox.

Saleo specializes in live demo personalization. Its browser extension allows you to overlay data within your existing demo environment, showcasing specific information relevant to each prospect.

TestBox sits on top of your live product to make simple data edits for sales leave-behinds and trial-like experiences.

Self-contained demo environments

For the most complex environments, the best way to deliver demos is by capturing the key elements of your application for total control and customization that can be tailored to the most complex buyer needs.

One solution for software companies looking for a demo environment is Demostack.

Demostack focuses on application cloning capabilities, with limited screen capture options. It offers templates and predefined elements for quick content creation, yet SE involvement is required for advanced customization.

To summarize, there are many point solutions aimed at a single demo use case, but only one demo creation platform, Reprise, is capable of handling every demo use case across the entire go-to-market team. With Reprise, teams can create a scalable demo program made up of reusable, shareable demos to accelerate sales cycles and win more deals.

Frequently Asked Questions About Demo Automation Software

This section addresses common questions about demo automation.

1. What is demo automation?
Demo automation is the process of creating interactive product demos at scale. Demo automation software simplifies the creation of interactive demos so prospects can experience all the benefits of your product without having to book a live demo—and on their own time.

2. What features does demo automation offer?
Common features of demo automation solutions include guided product tours, live overlays, customization options, and data analytics.

3. What are the benefits of demo automation software?
The main benefits of demo automation software are:

  • Increased efficiency of go-to-market operations
  • Reduced customer acquisition costs
  • Better, more personalized prospect experiences that accelerate sales cycles
  • Data-driven insights around prospect needs and preferences

4. Where in the sales process should automated demos be used?
Automated demos can be used to improve every stage in the go-to-market funnel, from initial top-of-funnel engagement to post-sale follow-up:

  • A. Product tours are most often used at the top-of-funnel to generate inbound leads and help early stage prospects educate themselves on product offerings. 
  • B. Live sales demos and  leave-behinds support mid-funnel and bottom-of-funnel sales efforts. 
  • C. Automated demo solutions are also effectively used to accelerate adoption of new products and features within the existing customer base via product tours, live demos, and leave-behinds.

5. What is the best demo automation software?
The “best” solution depends on your specific needs and budget. Determine your use case(s) and evaluate the vendor(s) in that category based on features, ease of use, and pricing. Solutions to consider (listed in alphabetical order) are Consensus, Demostack, Navattic, Reprise, Saleo, Storylane, TestBox, and Walnut.

By understanding the power of demo automation and choosing the right software, marketing, sales, and presales teams can revolutionize their demo delivery, drive engagement, and ultimately close more deals.